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Build Your Career Office Life

The Real Reasons Employees Are Late For Work

The Real Reasons Employees Are Late For Work
Credit: Mopic/Shutterstock

Getting to work on time every day can be tough for even the best employees.

Whether it's from oversleeping, getting stuck in traffic, or myriad other reasons, nearly one-quarter of employees say they are late to work at least once a week, with 14 percent admitting it's a weekly occurrence, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

Overall, traffic is the most common cause for employee lateness, with half of workers citing it as their reason for being tardy. Lack of sleep and bad weather are the two other most popular excuses. Additional reasons employees regularly cite for being late include having trouble getting their kids to school or day care, public transportation problems and wardrobe issues.

How truthful those excuses are appear to be up for debate, however. The study revealed that 30 percent of employees who admitted to being late for work in the past have lied about the reason for their tardiness.

Driving their decision to be less than truthful could be that they fear the consequences that may await them, as more than 40 percent of employers have actually fired an employee for being late. [Workers Gone Wild!? The Things That Make Employees Behave Badly ]

Some employers are much more lenient when it comes to punishments for tardiness. One-third of those surveyed have no problem with the occasional late arrival, as long as it doesn't become a pattern, while 16 percent say they don't need employees to be punctual if they can still get their work done.

The good news for businesses is that most workers are making up the time they missed, with nearly 60 percent of late-arriving workers staying after hours on those days.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,100 hiring and human resource managers and more than 3,000 workers across a range of industries.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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